UberBOAT to the Islands, Plans for the Future, and Potentially UberEATS?

Daniela Rogulj

Screen Shot 2017 08 06 at 2.11.15 PM

To the islands and to the future, what can we expect from Uber Croatia? 

Uber’s presence in Croatia has ruffled some feathers – a scenario not unlike most countries where Uber first enters the market. 

Absurd and illogical, however, is that after one year of business, Prime Minister Plenković and Minister Butković have publicly stated that Uber is illegal in Croatia and that it is against the applicable Croatian legislation.

While the Government still does not know what to do about Uber, in 2016, Croatia was one of the fastest growing Uber markets in the world. The new law that should regulate the confusion on the taxi market is expected in the autumn, and Davor Tremac, Director of Uber for Southeast Europe, welcomes the announcement of new regulations. According to Tremac, they have advocated the regulation since Uber launched in Croatia because the regulation does not actually exist, reports Slobodna Dalmacija on August 6, 2017. 

Because the Uber experience in Croatia has been surprisingly successful, without any resistance, Uber launched the UberBOAT project which, for the first time in the world, gives users the capability of ordering a boat with a captain through the application to transport them along the coast and to the islands.

This principle works the same as when you order an Uber vehicle. UberBOAT is offered in Split, Hvar, and Dubrovnik and is provided through two separate services: transfer from land to an island or vice versa, and half-day or full-day adventures. Instead of a driver and a road vehicle, users will receive an UberBOAT with a captain and sailor on deck.

“In Uber this summer, we wanted to raise our service to a higher level. After connecting Dalmatia from Novalja to Dubrovnik, UberBOAT wanted to service Croatian users, as well as many foreign tourists, with a new way of exploring and traveling the Croatian coast. We will expand the service very quickly to other places, such as Šibenik, Zadar and Korčula. There is no town where there is no room for this kind of service,” says Tremac.

The service will be available this year until at least the end of September, or however long the weather will allow boats to travel. Next year, UberBOAT will begin in April, or at the latest in May. The service will expand to new cities and introduce new boats depending on the demand, but his season alone, 100,000 users are expected!

Today, there are around 100 boats with 8 and 12 seats and about 200 skippers. The captain will ultimately decide whether or not the boat should be taken out – and if he thinks that he can set out to sea in November, he will. Think of the captain as the sea guru – telling you everything you need to know from sun protection to weather conditions.

Users of the service can determine their travel plan or create their own adventure according to the most popular excursions – and the best part? The boat is at the disposal of the user as often as they want it. The boat journey, however, does end at the embarkation point on the same day the journey began – the UberBOAT service does not offer overnight stays or charter boats without a captain. Users of the service can also freely share the cost of the journey, ensuring users won’t have to break the bank necessarily.

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Each UberBOAT partner is licensed for maritime transport, and captains have commercial transport permits. Service providers either have a concession or will only go in waters where they are allowed. Therefore, no problems should ever be expected.

“We launched the service just as Uber achieved five billion rides globally, which is an increase of three billion in the last 11 months. That’s our motivation to work on new and innovative solutions,” says Tremac.

UberBOAT in Split has been promoted through swarms of influential media and by the American media brand Thrillist who filmed a video about the project that was viewed by three million people.

If expectations are justified in Croatia and there is an interest, the UberBOAT service should be extended to other countries including Greece, Spain, France, Thailand, the Caribbean.

Uber has not thought twice about UberBOAT’s success and profitability. Through the port of Split-Dalmatia County and Zadar, Šibenik and Dubrovnik, there are 8.5 million guests in the summer season, forcing an unquestionable demand for transport services to the islands.

The possibilities are great, the routes are unlimited, and the passengers and captains have full rein.

“I believe this is a good offer not only for tourists, because Uber has so far been used by tourists in 118 countries, but also for domestic people,” emphasizes Uber’s first man in Croatia.

In 2016, Uber Croatia reported a revenue of 4.2 million HRK, and after taxing this amount, Uber had a profit of 232,700 HRK. The company had four employees with an average net salary of 12,900 HRK. Uber Croatia has more than 100,000 users (90 percent active) and 1500 partners and drivers. In the next three years, a new 10,000 partners and drivers are expected.

So, what’s next?

After transporting cars and boats, Uber Croatia is also looking to explore entry into the food delivery market. The company already offers this service in Poland, and UberEATS plans to expand to Croatia by the end of the year. UberEATS would significantly boost profitability as they charge a higher commission of those driving (20-25 percent), making it 30 percent overall. UberEATS is available in hundreds of cities across the globe through which they offer 60,000 restaurants and deliveries on average in less than 33 minutes. Stay tuned!

Uber was founded by Travis Kalanick and Garret Camp in San Francisco in 2009. In 2012, Uber expanded internationally. Today, Uber is available in nearly 400 cities in 66 countries, employs 5,500 people worldwide, and two million people worldwide in the Uber Driver’s Network. The company is valued at $70 billion.

How to order UberBOAT

1. Open the Uber application and enter the desired island destination

2. From the menu, select Boat * or BoatXL **

3. The captain of the ship will contact you for further arrangements

4. After confirmation, users will be referred to the nearest point of embarkation

Prices in HRK

TRANSFER: Hvar – Split (and vice versa)

UberBOAT (2600 HRK)

UberBOAT XL (3300 HRK)

Half-day or Full-day Rental:


Start: 330

Price per kilometer: 29

Price per minute: 2.60

Minimum Price and Cancellation Fee: 330


Start: 660

Price per kilometer: 36

Price per minute: 3.30

Minimum Price and Cancellation Fee: 660

Translated from Slobodna Dalmacija 


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